We help many clients who are charged with an offense called "Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation." When we get calls and inquiries on these types of cases, one of the primary questions that our clients have is "what will my sentence be?" or "how much time am I facing?" Before we can answer that question, we always need to dig a little bit deeper into the nature of the charges. The fact is that there are two extremely different sentencing possibilities with this charge, depending on the nature of the case.
The charge itself relates to "offering or soliciting sexual conduct with another person knowing or having reason to know that the other person is a minor." In other words, it's simply talking (or texting, messaging, emailing….any communications) with a minor about engaging together in sexual conduct. The offense is a class 3 felony if the minor is younger than 15 years of age.
If the alleged offense arose as a result of undercover police investigation, i.e., an undercover police officer poses as a minor online for the purpose of talking about sexual matters and the party at the other end of the line gets charged with luring, then the offense is sentenced pursuant to the standard Arizona felony sentencing scheme. This means for each offense the accused faces a prison sentence of 2 to 8.75 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections (with a presumptive sentence of 3.5 years). If it happens only once, the accused may be eligible for a probation sentence with no prison.
On the other hand, if the alleged offense arose as a result of communications with an actual minor under the age of 15, then the Arizona Dangerous Crimes Against Children Sentencing scheme is triggered and the accused is facing huge sentences in prison. For each offense, the accused is facing a prison sentence of 5 to 15 years in the ADOC, with a presumptive of 10 years. Probation remains a possibility for the first offense, but all subsequent offenses are subject to this enhanced sentencing scheme.